WHAT IS CITED REFERENCE SEARCHING?
Cited Reference Searching uses the references and notes of articles (and sometimes books) to let you find materials based on what sources they cite. It has three common uses
- to find articles relevant to your research by locating materials that cite known relevant sources.
- to quantify the impact of a specific scholar's work.
- to quantify the impact of the research conducted at an institution.
Comprehensive citation searching requires three approaches:
1. Use the two indexes constructed for Cited Reference Searching.
2. Use Subject-based bibliographies that have incorporated cited reference search capability
3. Use multidisciplinary, full-text resources to search for references.
ABOUT CITED REFERENCE DATABASES
There are two resources that are expressly designed to support Cited Reference Searching.
- Web of Science Core Collection--this is the current incarnation of the venerable Citation Indexes which invented this approach. Among other segments, it includes
- Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI) --1900-present
- Arts & Humanities Citation Index (A&HCI) --1975-present
- Scopus--[TRIAL]this is a relatively new product which indexes a larger number of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences journals than does the Web of Science Core Collection. It's major limitation vis a vis Web of Science Core Collection is that Scopus does not index the citations in articles published before 1995 (although approximately 40% of the records it contains date from 1994 or earlier).
There appears to be a significant portion of content unique to each resource, even for post-1994 citations.
1. Neither of these databases is comprehensive. Each one indexes only a portion of the academic journals published in a given discipline.
- The Art & Humanities section of the Web of Science Core Collection indexes 1725 journals covering all the Arts & Humanities which sounds like a lot until you consider that the MLA (Modern Languages Association) Bibliography indexes well over twice that number, (4,400) for only a single discipline.
- Scopus indexes 7,000 titles in all of the Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences, which again sounds like a lot until you consider that Sociological Abstracts indexes more than 1,800 titles for just a single subject.
2. Books. Both these databases have begun indexing the references in books. Scopus has references from more than 40,000 books across all disciplines, and plans to increase that number to 75,000 in 2015. Web of Science currently (2014) has indexed over 60,000 books across all disciplines and plans to add about 10,000 additional titles per year. While useful, these resources's coverage of monographic publications is much narrower than their coverage of journal publications.
3. Text-based notes (as opposed to reference lists). Both databases have trouble properly identifying citations embedded in footnotes
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